Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major

Business Administration

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Matthew O'Hern


Since the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act (UIGEA) in 2006, the fantasy sports world has had a tumultuous decade. Shortly after the passing of UIGEA, daily fantasy sports became marketable, and saw several years of tremendous growth. However, recent legal issues have clouded the industry, and lawmakers have questioned whether daily fantasy sports indeed fall under the exception granted by UIGEA as a “game of skill”, or whether the games are illegal gambling. This study is meant to look at what motivates fantasy sports participants, especially through this time of turmoil in the industry. It specifically looks at how players’ competitive, knowledge-seeking, or social tendencies affect their participation habits. Additionally, this thesis explores the effect that marketing messaging that portrays a daily fantasy sports website as a perfect place to satisfy these individual traits has on player participation. Finally, this study investigates the role that a sense of fairness plays in shaping players’ perceptions of these websites. To study these things, we began by looking at previous studies that focus on competition, knowledge, and social factors, both in the fantasy sports field and elsewhere, and creating a literature review. Following the literature review, an experiment was created, which tested these three scales as well as the perception of fairness, using a fictitious fantasy sports site, Fantasyland. The results obtained from this experiment indicate that those with competitive or social dispositions are the most likely to try fantasy sports. Additionally, it was found that those who are socially motivated are more likely to recommend a fantasy sports site to friends or strangers. Lastly, the perception of fairness did not have a direct effect of participants, although in one case, it did positively impact an individual’s willingness to try a daily sports website. These results and their implications as well as future research directions are outlined in the concluding discussion section.

Included in

Marketing Commons